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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 13:17 GMT


Scully quits Antiques Roadshow

Conflict of interests ends Scully's 19 years of antiques hunting

Veteran Antiques Roadshow presenter Hugh Scully has left the BBC One programme following his recent signing to an Internet auction site.

Scully, who joined the show in 1981, was forced to leave because his contract with to host their antiques site had created a clash of interests.

It was feared that Scully's new job might jeopardise the reputation of the show - which prides itself on its objectivity and not favouring the expertise of any one auction house.

[ image: Scully has presented alone since Arthur Negus retired]
Scully has presented alone since Arthur Negus retired
The BBC said Scully's departure had been amicable.

"Hugh's contribution to the Roadshow has been immense, hosting the programme... with an enthusiasm and authority which has placed him in the affections of millions of people, both at home and around the world," said Christopher Lewis, the show's executive producer.

"We're going to miss his unique style, his courtesy and warmth, and above all his professionalism. We wish him well in his new projects."

Fresh start for antiques show

TV bosses are now seeking a new face to front the popular Sunday night programme and are hoping to give the series a "fresh approach".

The show - now in its 26th series - has been fronted by Scully since the retirement of Arthur Negus in 1983.

[ image: Modem and Scully: The host wants to pursue
Modem and Scully: The host wants to pursue "commercial interests" with QXL
The 56-year-old presenter - who has worked for the BBC for nearly four decades - has reflected fondly on his time with a show which has taken him the length and breadth of the country.

"I have particularly enjoyed my long association with the Antiques Roadshow which has always been a delight and one of the best jobs in broadcasting."

"Now the time has come when I must pursue my commercial interests which, sadly, are incompatible with my role on the programme. I wish my successor well."

It is thought the deal to host the antiques valuation service offered by online auctioneers could net Scully as much as £3m.

The company was recently floated on the stockmarket. It was valued at £263m.

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